Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Like Tests?

Everybody loves tests right? I'm not so sure about that, but what I do know is that they are beneficial. Webster's defines a test as, a procedure, reaction, or reagent used to identify or characterize substance or constituent." Essentially, a test can simply show what you're made of and what you believe. I think one reason people dislike tests is because they don't want to see how they'll do with it. But in all honesty tests are a part of life. Some tests are big and can carry big consequences, while others may not be as big. Tests will come in all shapes and sizes. When you go through a test who and what do you lean on? I'm thankful that for every test I go through I have 2 things going for me. Firstly, I have the Lord and He knows what I can handle. Secondly, I have faith. A faith to completely trust in Him through my test. I can't imagine going through a test without either of these in my corner. I'm reading a book right now about the tests all leaders must go through from time to time. I wouldn't call it a fun book, but it's very real and encouraging. I know that in my lifetime many tests await me, but I also know that with God and faith I'll make it through :)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Regardless of How Bad Things May Be, How's Your Attitude?

As we all know, things don't always go the way you expected or thought. In fact, sometimes they can be nothing like what you expected. Sometimes life can be very challenging, difficult and frustrating. Perhaps your challenges are people related, money related, work related or something else. But regardless of what the cause is, there's something we must always be very aware of. When life is challenging, we may not be in a place to chance the situation, but we do have the opportunity to respond correctly to it. Remember Joseph in the Bible? He was in many challenging and difficult situations, yet he chose time and time again to respond rightly. He had every reason to get mad and want to take care of business, yet he chose not to let his emotions get in the way of choosing right attitudes. Today you may be faced with difficult and challenging things. Things that you can't change or do anything about. The important thing is how are you going to respond? What kind of attitude will you have? Choose to respond how Joseph did. Regardless of how bad his situations were, things seemed to work out pretty well for him :)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Who I Am

Something that can be a battle for all of us from time to time is believing who God says I am, and not what others or even ourselves say about who we are. It's a trap that's easy to fall into. If God says something about me, then that's what I'm going to choose to believe. Sometimes we value too much what others say about us. We can believe what they say more than what  God says. If God has forgiven me of my past, why would others or even myself not do the same? If God says I'm His child and made in His image, why would I believe what others say if it contradicts what He says? Today I choose to listen to what He says about me and who I am. Today I'm going to live to please Him and not others. People can criticize me, put me down, judge me, slander me, talk about me behind my back and whatever else they want to do. Today it's not going to bother me because I'm more concerned about what He says and not what they say. I'm more focussed on what He says about what's ahead and not about what they say about what's behind. Today I choose to live for Him :) 2 Corinthians 5:17... Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! (AMP). Today will you choose to focus on what God says about you and not what others say about you?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Trying to Wrap My Arms Around It

Camille had just finished feeding her bottle  and it was about 1:35am this morning. As I was holding her I couldn't  stop thinking about the fact that this was my daughter. This wasn't a dream or a figment of my imagination. She was mine. I must confess that it's in these early morning hours when I get to feed her that I have some great times of prayer and many opportunities to think. Yes, it's still hard to wrap my arms around the fact that I have a newborn baby. What I have appreciated is how faithful the Lord has been as we start this new chapter in our lives. He has been with us every step of the journey. All of us go through new chapters in our lives. Some might be easy, some difficult and even some where you don't really understand what's happening. Whatever yours may look like, you don't have to walk through it alone. God is with you, if only you'll turn to Him. When you're rejoicing so is He. When you're mourning, He's comforting you. When you're weak, He becomes your strength. His faithfulness, goodness, strength and love continue to seen everyday in my life. Thank you Lord :)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Remember This...

Yesterday, what we'd been hoping for, happened. We got to take our little Camille home. With a little help from our incredible nurse Kelsey, and the guy pushing Katherine in the wheelchair, we loaded up and headed home. We were on our own now. It's funny how I drove much more cautiously those 15 minutes to our home, taking no chances at all. Precious cargo can have a dramatic influence on you :) Driving Camille home took me back to bringing our other 3 kids home from the hospital, and all the things that flow through your mind. I've been here before and done this (but only with babies 3 times the weight). I can do this I kept thinking to myself. But reality kicked in at 3am this morning, which is my shift to feed Cami. My alarms went off, I got the bottle ready, and off we went. It's amazing how special such times can be. I'm looking down at her and she's looking up at me, as she eats. I'm holding a gift from God in my own arms. What a privilege it is. As I finished up feeding her, swaddled her and got her back down, I couldn't help but think about doing this with my other kids. And I thought, I remember all this. How special and precious it is. Before I know it she'll be all grown up and a big girl. So what's my plan? To cherish every moment :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ready to Get Her Home and Some Things I've Learned

Well the next step in our journey should begin over the next few days as the doctors release Cami to go home with us. It's been a crazy few weeks for us since her birth, and I'm sure that just because she's home the craziness won't all of a sudden end. Getting her home will simply be the next step of our journey. The doctor told us that "preemies" have very weak immune systems. This means that once she's home, we need to be very careful about who comes into our home and is around her. And we'll pretty much need to keep her home except for visits to the doctor. I have a feeling things are going to change around the Galway home. Regardless of all the things that are going to go on, I can't wait to get her home. There's just something about having a baby in the home :) The Bible says that we're to give honor where honor is due, and I must say that we have been so blessed with the nurses and doctors we've had at the St. Lukes NICU's, both downtown and in Meridian. They have made the past two and a half weeks so much easier. I've also learned so much from the care they've given to Camille and our family, that I can also apply when it comes to pastoring. It's funny how much you can learn from NICU nurses and doctors in becoming a better pastor :) Thank you all again so much for teaching me so much, and taking such great care of Cami :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

If Babies Could Talk

Have you ever wondered what babies are thinking? Or what they'd say if they could talk? For some reason I've been thinking a lot about this recently. When Camille and I are alone I seem to start telling her about all kinds of things. She's so attentive and curious about things. But wouldn't it be funny if she actually said something back? As I'm telling her all about her brother and sisters, what if she said, "I love them too daddy." I'm not expecting Camille to say anything back to me for a while, but just seeing her eyes looking at me, the occasional smile, and all her movement is just fine for me right now :) One thing I know about this little girl is that she's loved. We love her, the nurses and doctors love her, and I know the Lord loves her. He has such great plans for her and can't wait to see them unfold. As for now I'm going to cherish every moment with her, just holding her in my arms. I'll continue telling her about everything and love her every response. She's a gift to us from God...

Monday, August 5, 2013

What's Hardest For Us...

What a few weeks it's been since the birth of Camille Joy. It's still a little surreal to think that I'm a dad again and have a tiny, beautiful baby. There's nothing quite like holding all 3 or so pounds of her in your arms, pulling her close to your body. The joy of having this bundle of love and joy far outweighs the many miles we've driven to the hospital in the past 2 weeks and the many medical bills we'll soon start getting. But the hardest thing for me throughout all of this is easy to pinpoint. It's saying goodnight to her at night, walking out of the NICU, and driving home without her. Most of the time when you have a baby, after a few days both mom and baby go home together. There's nothing I want to do more than strap her car seat in our car and take her home. She's my girl and it's hard for a dad to leave her every night in the NICU. The other night as we pulled up to the hospital, a couple was loading their newborn into their vehicle for the first time. I was so happy for them. But this hit me harder than I would've expected. It's now been just under 2 weeks in the NICU with no concrete date for her to leave. I know it's going to happen at some point, but it doesn't make it any easier now. I have appreciated everyone's prayers, kind words and thoughtfulness during this season and encourage you to keep it up, because we need it. And I look forward to the day when we will get to take little Cammie home with us :)